At the close 2016, it’s time to look back the best movies the year had to offer. Here’s my list of the cream of the cinematic crop.
An impeccable acting ensemble gave life to the story of the challenges of a gay African-American boy’s life on the mean streets of Miami.
9) THE BIRTH OF A NATION
Nate Parker’s controversial but powerful film is about the educated slave Nat Turner who became a pastor and led an ill-fated slave revolt in 1831.
8) MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
“Manchester by the Sea” is a heartbreaking but skillfully written and acted drama about loss and grief. It’s extremely bleak, but it’s also extremely poignant.
“Arrival” is a beautifully acted and skillfully directed science fiction opus that asks more questions than it answers, so this is not a movie for those who hate ambiguity. Still, it marks the arrival of a very smart, thought-provoking film.
6) SING STREET
“Sing Street” is about a teenaged boy who starts a rock band to impress a pretty girl. It’s a little-seen gem filled with catchy tunes.
5) THE JUNGLE BOOK
The new version of the Disney classic “The Jungle Book” ranks right up there with “Zootopia” as the cream of the contemporary cinematic crop. It’s an engaging, eye-popping adventure.
4) HELL OR HIGH WATER
Expect some Oscar love for the modern Western “Hell or High Water,” particularly for it’s script. It’s a social commentary and character study disguised as a thriller.
3) THE 13th
The documentary “The 13th” is filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s compelling, powerful and detailed look at what’s been dubbed America’s “prison industrial complex.”
This wildly imaginative, beautifully animated comic crime thriller is funny, thoroughly engaging and the year’s most pleasant cinematic surprise.
1) LA LA LAND
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are splendid in “La La Land,” a smart, poignant, tune-filled and funny contemporary musical, the year’s best film.